Tuesday October 19, 2010
Day 33 on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
Palas de Rei to Melide
Dear Blog Readers,
Gosh, spent another night in an hotel without heat - last night I slept in my fleece clothes as it was the only way to keep warm - asked the front desk for heat and the answer was - use the blankets!! However, with the thought of bed bugs ever on my mind - I do not take anything out of the cupboard to use - I have no way of knowing when it was last cleaned.
We sleep in a little later as it is a shorter day - only 17 kms. When did I begin to think 17 kms. is a short day? The Camino does bring life into focus. Have a croissant, fresh orange juice and tea for breakfast and on the Camino by 8:45 a.m. Outside of the town is a steady climb up into the mountain and the forests beyond. Early on the walk a Spanish woman ahead of me, gets her boot caught on a stone on the path and takes a tumble - she is shaken but okay. As much as you want to check the scenery, the trail demands your full attention.
Trek up and down the Camino, in and out of forests - more Pine, Chestnuts and Oak trees - actually see a couple of Eucalyptus trees and they appear to be so out of place along the path. The forest´s floor is covered in ferns - farmers are harvesting corn for animal feed too. No mist or fog today but frost is on the ground and it is cold.
Walk a little with Catherine Ross another children´s author from London, Ontario - she has bad hips so is taking it real slow up and down the paths. We discuss books - ha what else. We´ve decided we must reread all the books on the Camino again. Stop for a hot chocolate on top of a mountain in a German café. A large group of Spaniards are on the Camino, they are loud and full of cheer, but they create a spiritual cord as we pass them on the trek standing in a circle reading a bible passage - when they stop for a break at the café they have a beer - oh well it is 10 a.m.!
Come upon an ancient bridge over a gushing river - stop to take a photo and see three cows down below having a drink from the flowing water - horror of horrors as they take in the chilly water, they are also going at the other ends - yuk! Cows are really stupid - oh, must not judge - this is the Camino after all! Come into the hamlet and the farmer is herding the cows (from the river) down the Camino - pilgrims get out of the way - the poor cows (now I´m sorry for them) are hobbled at the front right hoof to the front right horn - the farmer stop and open other barn doors along the way and other hobbled cows join in the parade - however, I want to use my Camino walking stick on the farmer as he begins to whack the cows with a whip on their hump when the take too long - would like to hobble the farmer to see how quickly he would walk - oops again, this is the Camino, cannot whip anyone or judge.
Make it into Melide by 1 p.m. - the town of 7,000 is famous for its dish of Octopus - a cook shows off his catch and invite pilgrims in to have lunch. They boil the whole octopus then chop it up and add olive oil and hot peppers - it takes a few bites, using a tooth pick to get into it - most locals are eating it with chunks of artesian bread - well when in Melide - live like the locals.
Trek 17 kms today - have 52 kms to Santiago. Should be there in three days - by Friday. Another short day tomorrow, then two 20 kms days and I should be there, providing all goes well.
Blessings from the Camino,
My personal thoughts for today - I am increasingly aware of my thoughts now. The Camino has a way of making you rethink thoughts or judgements. There is a purer, more simple way about everything. I hope this feeling last beyond the end of the Camino. It is wholesome and gives me warm and fuzzy feelings.